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Government engineer joins private-sector.

After serving as chief engineer and construction manager for the massive real estate portfolio of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Ray Monti's skills and know-how are now being tapped by a private-sector engineering firm.

Monti, who spent forty years with the bi-state agency, is currently chairman of Parsons Brinkerhoff Facilities Services, a Parson Brinkerhoff company that has been providing assessments of physical assets in the public and private seCtor since 1985.

At Parsons Brinkerhoff, a 100-year-old international design, planning and facilities firm, Monti is spearheading the expanded Capital Asset Management (CAM) services, a firm-wide initiative to provide a method for owners to best manage the physical resources of an organization. CAM will be integrated with Parson Brinkerhoff's Condition Assessment Survey (CAS) services.

"I'm still practicing engineering," Monti said about his new position. 'All those years I practiced engineering by running an in-house engineering, design and construction company, and now I'm on the other side of the fence."

Monti, 63, a senior vice president with Parsons Brinkerhoff Quade & Douglas, explained that CAM services are targeted to owners and operators in the public and private sectors, including industrial organizations, institutions and corporations.

"Owners and operation of facilities in both the public and private section have a vested interest in the effective management of their physical assets," said Monti. "We are in a position to help implement comprehensive programs that will protect and enhance these capital investments."

According to Monti, CAM-produced engineering and financial reports assist companies in determining how they can preserve and enhance the value of their capital asset portfolio.

"I believe this is critical to the industry, and, thus, the nation," Monti said. "Everyone is concerned with financial portfolios to maximize returns but when it comes to physical assets, which can represent 25 to 50 percent of the assets of a corporation, they're not managed quite so aggressively."

Since nationwide economic constraints have placed greater emphasis on rehabilitation and repair instead of new construction, Monti noted that it is essential for companies to know the condition of current physical assets.

"In order to manage, you have to know what you have, to spend when it is appropriate or to demolish when the cost is too much and you can't realize returns equal or surpassing what is anticipated," Monti said.

Monti explained that Capital Asset Management is a comprehensive approach to facilities planning, whether the facility is a corporate office building, bridge, park, military base, transit property or an entire inventory of municipally-owned properties.

"I would hasten to add that you hear a lot about infrastructure and people normally think of roadways and bridges, but it is the entire speCtrum of the built environment, said Monti." Infrastruture is the entire spectrum of what has been built, from sewer systems to Central Park."

According to Monti, the CAM approach begins with an engineering assessment of the condition of capital assets using a systematic, uniform, pre-programmed evaluation tool tailored to a specific facility, including cost estimates for the repair or replacement of deficiencies and recommended priorities for renewal, modernization and replacement projects. This information is maintained in a comprehensive data base that can then be used to formulate engineering and financial reports.

"Different engineers since the days of the pyramid have used a clipboard and a pencil, but we are now living in the age of the computer." Monti said, adding that Parson Brinkerhoff has greatly expanded its existing capabilities by developing software for hand-held computers to assist in conducting accurate condition assessment surveys and financial software for the management of capital assets.

By launching the new Capital Asset Management initiative, Monti said, Parsons Brinkerhoff will offer these services throughout its entire network of national and international offices for both public- and private-sector clients. Recent clients include the New York City Office of Management and Budget, Yale University, City University of New York, the U.S. Department of Energy, and Proctor Gamble Company.

"Capital Asset Management is ideal for public and private organizations that need to identify and track their fixed assets," said Monti. "To effectively manage capital assets, you have to know what you've got and what condition it's in. This way owners can extend the life of the structures and increase the return of their investment."

During his career with the Port Authority, Monti was employed in numerous project management positions and served as director of engineering and chief engineer from 1972 until 1991. He was also the construction manager of the colossal World Trade Center Project, where he organized the team responsible for coordinating and supervising the activities of some 200 prime contractors and 500 subcontractors and suppliers working at the site.

Monti's annual operating budget was $450 million and he directed more than 1,200 professional engineers, architects, skilled technicians, craftsmen and administrative support staff. As director of engineering and chief engineer, he was responsible for the engineering and architectural services and for all disciplines of design, construction inspection, contract administration, condition assessment and structural integrity of all Port Authority facilities.

The engineer was also responsible for the Port Authority in-house engineering and maintenance forces for structures, communication, and ensuring that new construction projects were completed on scheduled, as well as engineered economically and consistent with applicable codes and professional standards.

As construction manager at the World Trade Center, Monti organized the team that was responsible for coordinating and overseeing the activities of numerous contractors, subcontractors and suppliers responsible for the construction of two 110-story buildings as well as smaller but significant structures.

Monti said he was particularly shaken by the bomb explosion at the World Trade Center on Feb. 26 that killed at least five people and injured more than 1,000 in the most devastating terrorist attack ever in the United States. He was sitting in his office the Friday of the explosion and he began receiving phone calls from many of his former colleagues.

"I enjoyed my time at the World Trade Center and have the utmost good memories," Monti said.

Monti's other significant Port Authority construction projects include the John F. Kennedy International Airport, where he was assistant to the Port Authority engineer of construction; Newark International Airport, where he served as assistant to the Port Authority engineer of construction; Third Tube of the Lincoln Tunnel, as assistant to the Port Authority engineer of construction; Port Authority Bus Terminal Expansion, where he was assistant resident engineer; Port Authority Heliport, serving as resident engineer; and New York World's Fair Exhibit Building, during this project, pioneering the application of a systems approach to construction management.

Monti, who received a degree in civil engineering from Manhattan College, has been the recipient of several prestigious awards. He has served as the chairman of the Building Futures Council since 1987 and is a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers, a director of the New York City Post of the Society of American Military Engineers and a member of the Board of Directors of the New York Building Congress. He also holds the rank of commander in the Civil Engineering Corps in the U.S. Navy.

The Parsons Brinkerhoff group of companies provides multi-disciplinary planning, engineering, and construction services in transit systems, tunnels, bridges, highways, air and marine ports, as well as water and environmental engineering, energy systems and industrial power, and urban planning. The group employs more than 3,000 professionals and support staff in more than 70 offices worldwide.
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Title Annotation:Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade and Douglas Inc.'s Ray Monti
Author:Alger, Derek
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Article Type:Interview
Date:May 19, 1993
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